Unai Emery has leap to the defence of Alex Iwobi after the Nigerian was substituted at half time in Arsenal’s 4-2 comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday in the English Premier League.
Iwobi started the game but was substituted at half time with Arsenal trailing Spurs 1-2 after going ahead through a well taken penalty by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
At the start of halftime Arsenal coach Emery took off Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey, a substitution which paid off for the Gunners as they were both pivotal in helping Arsenal turn the game around.
Ramsey supplied two assists while Lacazette scored the goal that gave Arsenal a 3-2 lead before Lucas Torreira rounded up the win with the fourth goal shortly before Spurs were reduced to ten men.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game against Manchester United, Emery said the duo of Iwobi and Mkhitaryan were substituted due to tactical reasons and not because they were playing badly.
“First, it was about being calm. We changed small details but what’s been most important for me at half-time is to be calm, to give them confidence, because maybe yesterday we were 1-0 up and then we finished the half 2-1 down. Give them confidence on the best moments in the first half, to repeat that in the second half”, the coach said while explaining his decision at the half time break.
“Change something special – I changed two players at half-time, but not because Iwobi and Mkhitaryan were doing badly, but because we needed to change and push with different players. I explained yesterday that Aaron has experience in derbies like yesterday, and the second was that I thought we could do better with players with the capacity to score against them”,.